Once the final Bumbershoot schedule was released, seeing Lillydale was toward the top of my agenda. Since the first time I caught them live earlier in the summer, I’ve been anxious for a chance to see them again as I really found their brand of power-pop appealing. Unfortunately, shows since then have been preciously scarce. It got worse when I found out just prior to this show that this would be the final Lillydale show.
Of course that was a disappointment, but there are some advantages to playing your final show at Bumbershoot: you’re playing to a crowd that most likely hasn’t heard your band before; that crowd is probably larger than usual; and the Sky Church at the Experience Music Project has the best PA system Paul Allen’s billions would be willing to buy.
The band certainly gave their audience a memorable show for the last time they’d take the stage. The Sky Church was nearly packed and I could not imagine anyone disappointed at the show they had just witnessed.
The first song was “Here We Go (Again…),” which has garnered some pretty heavy rotation on my iPod over the past few weeks. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a cover of the Posies’ “I May Hate You Sometimes”. When I realized that was not the case (after roughly twelve seconds) but something much better, I fell in love with the song first and the band second.
Most of the set, if not all of it, came from its terrific LP The Art of Becoming One’s Own Shadow… which was released earlier this year on Mt. Fuji Records. The band played for a little over 45 minutes, including some favorites like “The Last Teen Anthem,” “Deconstructing the Weight,” and “Lighting the Lanterns in the Shade.” All sounded pristine because the band was tight and “on it.”
When the lights came up and the band left the stage, I saw more than a few people with tears running down their faces. They were, no doubt, friends or family of the band (or were dumped via text message moments before – but I prefer to think the former), but I couldn’t help feeling the same sentiment.
* Another memorable moment I witnessed at the show, but completely unrelated to Lillydale: some guy standing near me lit up a joint and inhaled a colossal hit of pot while (presumably) putting it out in his hand and back in his pocket with only a minimal cloud and nearly invisible to security. As a nonuser of marijuana, I was still thoroughly impressed with the ingenuity.